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Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy Paperback – May 19 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press (May 19 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816648999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816648993
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #238,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Booklist

The pink ribbon has come to symbolize efforts to find a cure for breast cancer. But it has also become a powerful symbol for corporate philanthropy, boosting the image of corporations, that promote products from yogurt to cars, slicing off a portion of proceeds to support breast cancer research. King, a women's health issues scholar, explores the phenomenal growth of Pink Ribbons Inc.; the annual massing for the Susan G. Komen Foundation's Race for the Cure 5K runs; and other high-profile events with huge corporate sponsorships. However admirable the effort to find a cure, King argues that it overwhelms efforts to learn how and why women get breast cancer and how it can be prevented. Prevention efforts could help more low-income women who lack the means to pay for treatment. King examines the history of philanthropy and how breast cancer became such a prominent cause, garnering far more support and publicity than other diseases, demonstrating the ability of American women to flex their political and economic muscle on behalf of an important cause. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I give it 5 starts because I found it informative and would encourage everyone to read it. It is important to educate ourselves and this book is a good beginning.
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By Mandy on Feb. 13 2012
Format: Paperback
This book came quickly and in excellent condition. I am enjoying it because it is a very interesting and thought provoking read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Excellent academic overview of current breast cancer funding Dec 6 2007
By M. Jaye - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Pink Ribbons, Inc. is an excellent overview of breast cancer philanthrophy's relationship to breast cancer research politics. As an epidemiology graduate student, most of the people I know with criticisms of current breast cancer research agendas are medical researchers. This book gave me valuable insights into why we have such a difficult time obtaining grants to research the correlation between environmental toxins and breast cancer.

However, because it appears to be written for academics who specialize in breast cancer history, it glosses over the social and political context that these changes are occurring in. Anyone interested in this book should read Barron H. Lerner's The Breast Cancer Wars: Hope, Fear, and the Pursuit of a Cure in Twentieth-Century America or Robert Aronowitz's Unnatural History: Breast Cancer and American Society (Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine) before reading this.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Now a documentary film premiered at Toronto Film Festival 2011 Oct. 1 2011
By M - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This documentary, based on Samantha King's Pink Ribbons Inc., was produced by Ravida Din, directed by Lea Pool, and written by Patricia Kearns, Nancy Guerin, Pool. Readers can look up more specifics. The reviews are excellent for this National Film Board of Canada release.

I've had King's excellent book for years, and yet I am surprised that I never got around to writing a review here, but attribute that omission to constantly referencing the book in the many articles, letters to editors, legislators, businesses, medical organizations, "pink" organizations, etc., I have sent in an attempt to remove the pink fog from the horrendous status of care for breast health and breast diseases.

I firmly believe that what King presents effects every single aspect of the care, or lack of care, women receive, as the more "pink," "feel-good," "infantilization," and all the rest of it that is allowed to numb and dumb. I grant that a small percentage of men get breast cancer, but I will not diminish the fact of gender-based disease by using the ubquitious, "people" when talking about breast cancer).

The big "K" has it's registered trademark. I thought of a new one today -- just popped into my mind after seeing a comic strip, no less, that was all about "pink." Caveat -- it's black humor. Here it is:
"Breast cancer for women, not for profit."

As to King's book being too academic - any woman who has had to deal with breast anomalies - learns so much about medicine, and the politics of medicine, than she might well be granted an honorary degree. And, having a very average brain, assure everyone that her writings, and the message, were crystal clear to me.

I hope the documentary receives a wide, and accessible release, because film has such power, and between King's work, (and the work of others), and film itself, I pray - I really pray -- that the public will be motivated to abandon pink profiteering, and focus on what exactly happens to women who have concerns about their breasts, the scattershot approach to care that they receive, especially if faced with unclear results, or absence of cancer -- that's poorly expressed - women who enter the cancer-system, and ultimately learns that she has a non-cancerous condition, is utterly abandoned. That's the next book I want to see written.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great. Dec 26 2013
By Ashley N. Mack - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great study of the neoliberalization of activism and politics. If you are interested in how neoliberal discourses have come to change our orientation towards public life, this is a great book, whether or not you are interested in breast cancer politics.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Should be a MUST READ Dec 24 2012
By Baxter - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Think Before You Pink" - next time you are at the grocery store and the ask you if you want to donate to Breast Cancer "Awareness" tell them you are already "aware" - and then suggest this book - quite the eye opener.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
must read this book Jan. 18 2013
By Angelia R. Lee - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
it will change a lot of peoples minds on breast cancer and runs and plastics...just everything you are given a large amount of true information....exciyy